Dungeon or Psych Ward?: A Crazy Whore Explains It All

by Lori Adorable on February 20, 2013 · 13 comments

in Fetish, Health

photo by Alex Colby

photo by Alex Colby

Being a crazy whore is kind of like being the meanest dog at the pound: out of all of the rejects, you’re the least wanted, and your very existence makes your peers look bad. I say this from experience. I used to work at a pound, and I’m definitely a bitch (HEY-O). I’m also a crazy whore—a pro-switch with disabling, medication-resistant Major Depression, to be precise.  Society has made clear to me that it would prefer if I were euthanized, and a lot of folks within the disability rights and sex workers rights communities don’t want me around either. I give credence to some of the most persistent, prejudiced assumptions people in each group encounter.  Namely, that women with mental illnesses are sexually promiscuous damaged goods, and sex workers are mentally unhealthy damaged goods. What better way to argue against those stereotypes than to deny the existence of those of us who fulfill them?

And there are a lot of us, more than most folks realize. We frequently stay closeted about one or both of these marginalizations, partly because we may lack the physical energy or emotional stamina to brazenly insert ourselves into the activist communities that dislike us. I rarely mention to other people with disabilities what I do for work, and I am equally reluctant to test the reactions of fellow sex workers by discussing my experiences as a crazy ho. Just the idea of walking into a sex worker empowerment meeting and telling everyone that I’m doing this job because I’m too nuts to work full time and I kind of hate it, makes me feel exhausted.

Exhaustion is also why a lot of disabled sex workers don’t work independently. Houses, agencies, clubs, and brothels take on more of the workload associated with sex work, such as finding clients and providing space and security. But houses, agencies, clubs, and brothels are also (usually) more concerned with profit than with their employees’ well being, so you’re likely to find that more agency girls hate their jobs. People who hate their jobs don’t often organize around that identity, which is another reason disabled sex workers lurk in the shadows.

It can get pretty dark hiding out in here. That’s why I like to liven the mood sometimes with some equally dark humor. Let’s face it, there are some hilarious aspects of the intersection of sex work and disability, at least as far as my experiences are concerned. Like, for example, the many ways in which a commercial dungeon is like an adolescent psych ward. You know, in my experience at least. Reader, beware: like my very existence, this laugh-in reinforces some nasty, persistent stereotypes about both sex workers and the mentally ill. If you’re not in the mood for that, or if you’re somewhat averse to jokes as dark as the depths of despair and kohl eyeliner, ya best stop reading here.

1. If somebody is shitting, there’s a good chance that somebody else is watching.

2. All of the girls wear slippers.
You gals will kill your feet in those 6-inch stiletto boots; you kids will kill yourselves with those shoelaces. But come on, ladies, this isn’t a brothel or the Alzheimer’s ward. Put some fucking pants on!

3. You learn that ice cubes have other, more obscure uses.
Dump a cup-full on a dick for a fun surprise, or cover one with salt for a sweet self-inflicted chemical burn.

4. There’s a lot of diversity when it comes to the race, body type, and socio-economic class of your peers, but you’re all within a very specific age range.
And, for some reason, 90% of you are bisexual and have a boyfriend.

5. Civilians think they know what it’s like there because they saw that one episode of CSI: Miami.

photo by Mikey McMichaels

photo by Mikey McMichaels

6. Fun family role-plays!
Client in the dungeon: “Now, Lori, I’m gonna need you to act as my mother in this scene and really let me have it.”

Group therapist in the hospital: “Now, Lori, I’m gonna need you to act as your mother in this scene and really demonstrate what it’s like when your family fights.”

Me: “You’re a worthless little slut!”

Client and group therapist: “Oh wow, that was really great.”

7. The Mother Hen and the Universally Hated Overlord
Whether it’s Manager Misty or Nurse Nancy, you know she’ll back you up when you tell her that Dungeon Owner Vince/ Dr. Connell is a fascist dickbag.

8. CBT is pretty popular.
Cock and ball torture, cognitive behavioral therapy… has anyone thought to combine them?

9. The revolving-door nature of the place means that the social hierarchy is constantly changing.
You’re all in the same boat though, and so most of you are friends. Except for that one bitch.

10. The other girls all ask you the same questions.
“So how long have you been here?”

“You know that one room is haunted, right?”

“Are we allowed to smoke now? In here? Who has a lighter?”

“Did you read that memoir that someone wrote about this place?”

11. Security cameras and sadistic nurses, padded rooms and padded restraints
It turns out that straitjackets are only the provenance of dungeons these days.

12. Lockdown
It might feel terrible being stuck inside all this time, especially in the summer, but we wouldn’t want any of you to run into one of the clients or run into the woods of Bumblefuck, Pennsylvania and hang yourself with your sweatpants.

13. There is that one girl who…
 … gets the most phone calls, and everyone else acts really happy for her but is secretly jealous.

… is always drawing in her notebook. Like, always.

… tries to steal your shit.

… offers to read your palm.

… definitely does NOT belong here and will probably leave within three days.

… wears her bleach-blonde hair in dreadlocks. And is white.

… is a pathological liar.

… is probably under the age requirements but knows someone who knows someone who runs this place.

… lit someone on fire, and everyone else is really impressed.

(Uncle Mark with gasoline for revenge, Slave Mark with rubbing alcohol for a demonstration.)

photo by ZMS

photo by ZMS

14. There are those two girls who…
…knew each other on the outside.

… are totally fucking.

… are totally going to fight.

(They’re always the same two.)

15. At least once a day, somebody will ask the Mother Hen for a razor. 

16. You’re just telling that little old guy with the glasses what he wants to hear.
“I swear I absolutely LOVE hurting you”

“I swear I absolutely will STOP hurting myself.”

17. The chairs in the lounge are really uncomfortable, especially when you sit in them for hours every day watching Judge Alex marathons.

18. You learn the inside lingo, and you learn it fast.
For example, “Clear” and “code red” both mean, “run and hide in your room.”

18. Instead of seeking a broader kind of solidarity, most of your peers like to build themselves up by saying, “At least we’re not hookers/ retards!”
Except one of you is definitely an escort/ intellectually disabled and is now trying even harder to hide it, and most of the rest of you are fucking men in the ass for money/ have some kind of learning disability. So.

20. Somebody is named Krystal.

19. Somebody’s worried her little sister will find out about this and won’t look up to her anymore.
Little sister finds out a few months later when she joins y’all.

21. You lie to everyone about this. Or get drunk and tell everyone half the truth.
“Yeah, I’m a pro domme” And a pro sub.

“Yeah, I was hospitalized for depression.” And suicidal self-injury.

23. After leaving, a third of you will end up back there or somewhere similar.
And those who have been somewhere similar will always let you know how much better/ worse that place is.

24. Most of you aren’t as fucked-up as civilians would like to think.
As indicated by how often you hear, “Oh my god I NEVER would’ve guessed that by looking at you!” whenever you drunkenly spill the beans.

25. There’s frequently loud screaming coming from that room at the end of the hall, but you get used to it after a while.
“SHUT THE FUCK UP YOU STUPID MOTHERFUCKER I FUCKING HATE YOU DO YOU THINK YOU CAN FUCKING TREAT ME THIS WAY WITHOUT ANY CONSEQUENCES”

Oh, that’s just Krystal, at it again.

 

Lori Adorable is a pro-switch, occasional model/performer, and sometimes writer. She’s pulling her shit together in the lovely city of New York and hopes to return to school one day soon.  Three months ago she finally quit the dungeon and went independent, which is a lot like moving on to the outpatient treatment center. You can find her tweeting charming things most nights @LoriAdorable.

 

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

B February 20, 2013 at 10:06 pm

This is fantastic! As a fellow crazy sex worker/former dungeon hoe, I salute you & your fabulous writing.
Hilarious, and all too true…

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paris lee May 22, 2015 at 9:18 pm

Amen.

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Isadora February 21, 2013 at 4:14 am

I am laughing and yet I feel strangely close to tears. But I think they’re good tears, the kind that spring from feelings of recognition and validation (even though they still give me ugly cryface). I’ve never worked in a dungeon but was a stripper for several years. I was surprised at how many of these apply perfectly to my experiences with stripping and mental illness. Thank you for writing this. I am going to save it and look at it whenever I need a good laugh / cry.

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Tracy Vanity February 21, 2013 at 5:54 am

Great post! I’ve never been a sex worker but I’m from Los Angeles so I had a lot of pro-dom friends who talked me out of ever trying that line of work. Since I’m prone to chronic depression and mania and have serious daddy issues, it would have fucked with my head too much in a bad way. I love being a sub though and have a lot of love and appreciation for sex workers. I’m glad this site exists and that there are so many strong, beautiful, women, who are speaking their minds about sex and sex work.

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LoriAdorable February 21, 2013 at 9:58 pm

Thanks everyone! I’m glad you all enjoyed it.

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Elle February 23, 2013 at 10:57 pm

I should show this to my sister Krystal.

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ImfallibleK March 12, 2013 at 5:39 pm

I get little of this and it’s fucking hilarious.

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Julia Taylor March 29, 2013 at 6:41 pm

Finally I don’t feel alone any more! Was rather lonely thinking it was just me!
I have tried on a number of occasions to return to a ‘vanilla’ world & you just don’t fit in. But fabulous knowing its not just me 🙂 welcome to the nut house x

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Miss Margo August 10, 2013 at 5:12 pm

BWAAAHAHAHAHAHA!

I’m a dungeon girl and have worked at three different dungeons in NYC.

My current dungeon is so fucking insane that I’ve been calling it “Bellvue” or “Arkham Asylum” for months now.

I loved this post.

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Lena Fires September 24, 2013 at 9:51 am

Couldn’t have explained some woman lives any better…,)

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Cyrus December 20, 2014 at 10:55 am

I’m fucking gagging. We have so much in common! I’m in my late, mid to early 50’s and started working as a ho at 14 while on the run from the Child & Adolescent Ward of the local nuthouse! I always thought being a nutcase and a ho offered a distinctive advantage most people haven’t been blessed enough to experience. Because my dear, in the end I realized I wasn’t really the one who was nuts after all…everyone else was! I escaped from Lakeshore in Toronto at 14, from there I ran away to New York and they never caught me, the motherfuckers! I was tall for my age and good at pretending to be mature. I rolled my own joints and never took it up the ass, and that’s why I survived because NYC in the late 70’s and early 80’s was not the safest place for young gay runaways from Canada! Lori I salute you, I’m thinking of writing a memoir and your chutzpa is encouraging! I’m not assuming you have the answer to this question, but it can’t hurt to ask…where would one go if he was thinking about writing a memoir about his life as an ex drug addict and ho who was also a current nutcase? Is there a market for that shit? Because honey let me tell you, I got stories and would love to tell ’em! Here’s a big hug for you! \o/ Cyrus xo

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